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“If we believe in the Constitution and in constitutional rule, the issue is clear. Donald Trump cannot run for any federal or state office. We might have strong feelings about this; but the reason we have a Constitution in the first place (and the rule of law in general) is to avoid government by strong feelings.”

Timothy Snyder

THINKING ABOUT

Substack 12/29/2023 9:17 AM

Good luck back in your other classroom. I don’t know how you do it all Joyce and in these fraught times too. I’m just glad you do find time in your day though.

I had just finished reading Timothy Snyder’s post on Substack and so included one of his paragraphs here. It really spoke to me for some reason. Probably has something to do with his last sentence about not having a government of strong feelings for that is where so many of tfg’s supporters would have us end up were it up to them. I shudder to think what that would be like.

In the meantime, have a great day later this morning(it’s a tad after midnight where I am)and I’ll just wait for your next Substack.

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Does the constitution say unqualified persons cannot run for office, or that they can't serve? It would certainly be disruptive for them to run, and states may rule that no one can be on the ballot unless he or she can serve but I thought the prohibition addressed service.

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Irony, indeed: “….and invest in the health and education of their people.”

Then George W. Bush proceeded to cram- down the failed ‘no child left behind’ public school initiative, that stripped civics and history (except the revisionist brand) from public school curricula. I’m no fan of George Bush’s policies, but I do appreciate that he recognizes Trump for the grifter that he is.

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Civics and History, the two courses that might create a public able to think critically in an effective manner about the issues of the day. Can't have that! They wouldn't vote for Republicans!!

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founding

My feelings for the Bushy boy as well. Seeing him sitting next to Michele Obama at the last inauguration made us think "oh, he's not so bad", but he is really, just not as bad as tfg.

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Reminding us, like the politics of not so long ago, that one can absolutely like another person without liking the other’s politics. It was always the basis of respect, good manners, and good politics in both houses of government. Michele and Bush 2 understood that and that is why their friendship was so touching in my opinion.

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founding

Yes, it looked that way. Bush was the gracious host to the Obama's at the transition. It is still possible, but getting shakey.

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Bush, at the behest of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld, sent thousands of our military into the Middle East based on lies. One of those was my son.

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Your loss is doubly painful because of the lies. It would be bad enough to lose him in a just cause. No matter the circumstances, he is worthy of the pride you must feel. Take care.

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founding
Jan 4·edited Jan 4

I'm sorry to hear that, Jenn, but I do not believe Bush did the "at the behest of"s. Chaney ran the show at the behest of his military contractor cohorts for the single purpose of endless war for endless proffit. War criminals all. Remember, they left Bushy boy in Florida reading to the little kids on 9-11. Couldn't let him get in the way.

Their endless war is paying off to this day even more profitably.

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I'm so sorry for your loss.

The fact so many died for lies being told in order to disrupt the area by scapegoating an entire population of people to what end? 😔

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As for Bush 2, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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True…:)

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Wasn’t that horrible? Teachers really suffered with the language behind that!

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Tell me about it. Retired educator here. We always called NCLB No Child Gets Ahead.

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Prof Vance, good luck with your course.

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Jan 4·edited Jan 4

Joyce, thank you so much for taking time from your class prep to send this to us. We would all be your best students!! Thank you so much for explaining the 14th amendment. So it really does determine whether he is qualified to be president? Not just on the ballot? If that is the case, then yippee!!

I am wondering who the attorney will be for the supreme court case. Must it be a Colorado attorney or can they assign or higher one of the major big guns with with Supreme Court experience like Michael Dreeben? I’m aware that Mr. Dreeben has argued more than 100 cases at the Supreme Court and is an authority on criminal law doctrine. But does that include enough experience on things like the 14th amendment? This is such an exciting event because I honestly think the Supreme Court will say Trump cannot be on the ballot. He’s broken the 14th amendment. Of course I’m no attorney.

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Dreeben is working for the Special Counsel’s office, but it’s easy to imagine somebody like Neal Katyal being willing to step up to the plate.

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Oh yes! Neal Katyal would be fab. He is so smart. And he would not be ruffled. It’s as though he has been born for this job - this singular job of bringing Trump to task. What a perfect idea. Thank you so much. I’m hoping they will ask him to be the attorney.

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Ps: yes, yes, yes:))

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Of course here a group of Republicans brought the case in the state court rather than the State so it would be interesting if they brought on George Conroy or former conservative Appellate Judge, both of whom are quite expert and speak the language of the six Republican Justices?

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Wow, yes Ira!

By the way, a bunch of people were asking yesterday about how to be involved with young folks for the 2024 election. Perhaps you could send a comment with the name of the website - I joined, but I haven’t followed up or received an email or anything, and I need to do that. But it would be great if all the people on Joyce’s Substack knew about the group. I think this was her message from last night when she talked about working out at the gym with a friend who didn’t know who Rudy Giuliani was because of not watching news and the news algorithms for this young woman didn’t include anything about current events.

Then the conversation turned to “how to reach young people.“ And your organization would be a perfect fit.

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deletedJan 4
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There are many youth organizations that do different things—this is a web site which facilitates online voter registration that is helpful. I recommend www.TurnUp.US which is an activist volunteer organization actually registering College students and high school seniors run by a brilliant and effective team of Harvard students based exclusively on abortion rights, effective gun safety laws, and combatting Climate Change! These issues are key! Moreover, TurnUp conducts an intensive social media campaign which has been hugely successful. Each group contributes to progress in their own ways!

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Just posted this link with a note.

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Valere, I, as a non-lawyer, observer do not believe the SCOTUS will make any such decision. At best, they’ll look to some real or imagined court procedure to step aside from any history making. I believe they will, as they have been doing since the reign of a conservative majority make up whatever interpretation that suits them.

It would be nice to have faith in the institution of justice in 2024, but that ship has sailed. Imagine Ginni Thomas’s husband/partner rendering a decision rather than recuse himself. It’s only 12 am here. Sleep will help my cynical brain.

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Oh pooh! I also am writing when I’m tired, and so exhausted I actually had forgotten about Clarence until you reminded me. I honestly wonder why HE has anything to say about anything?? if we could or should boot anyone, it’s him.

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Jan 4·edited Jan 4

ps John, I guess I am just not so cynical. I appreciate that you are. But I am just hoping that since Trump’s crimes have been brought into the light of day by the indictments of Jack Smith, as awful as it is that we’ve had to endure knowing a former president has behaved in such a despicable way, I’m hoping, hoping still, that justice will prevail, despite Clarence Thomas and his ilk. Just had to add that last sentence. Sleep well.

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Jan 4·edited Jan 4

I think it’s interesting that in response to drumpf filing re immunity, Jack Smith cites the possibility that a president could sell nuclear secrets to a foreign adversary. I saw that as a swipe at Aileen Cannon. I think that came out too late for Joyce’s comments as she needed to prepare for class.

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I remember fondly the days when I thought Trump was just a crooked business man.

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I always thought he was a creepy rapist.

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Jan 4·edited Jan 4

Agree, they are cowards. The only decision they wanted to make was enabling corporate corruption of our political system. That and negating the votes of Florida to install an idiot. Now they’re scared of the armed lunatics we have in abundance due to their misunderstanding of what constitutes a well regulated militia.

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I would love to see Michael Luttig as the principal attorney arguing before the Supreme Court against Trump's eligibility to hold office again.

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He has said he’s not a litigator, it’s a different job than being a judge. Neal Katyal was on the interview with him and they have collaborated before. Dream team.

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Neal Katyal. He has had a huge number of wins before the Supreme Court.

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From Merriam Webster Dictionary: Hubris Comes From Ancient Greece

English picked up both the concept of hubris and the term for that particular brand of cockiness from the ancient Greeks, who considered hubris a dangerous character flaw capable of provoking the wrath of the gods. In classical Greek tragedy, hubris was often a fatal shortcoming that brought about the fall of the tragic hero. Typically, overconfidence led the hero to attempt to overstep the boundaries of human limitations and assume a godlike status, and the gods inevitably humbled the offender with a sharp reminder of their mortality.

As usual, Joyce is spot on, describing both Trump and, I would add his counsel. While I doubt Trump will ever feel humbled, I hope that, together, we the people will prevail over this monster.

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“I hope that, together, we the people will prevail over this monster.”

Shortly after the “insurrection” one of my Trump FB friends responded to a post with “He will prevail.” Darn! There is that word “together” in your hope.

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There is something contradictory about your final words tonight, Joyce.

“ It’s likely that in that moment he [Obama] didn’t fully envision how critical the role each of us plays as a private citizen was about to become. But we see it now. We have risen to that challenge once and we can do it again.

We’re in this together”

The challenge is to make an individual action, voting against Trump, a group action, voting as a community favoring a democratic governmental regime. That is up to each of us in our small groups, but more up those who upon whom the mantel of leadership falls. Those leaders are going to have to figure out how to reach as many voters as possible. Joe Biden’s folksy kitchen table talk might work with some, but there has to be messaging for each group of voters. And, that messaging needs to breath fire because that’s what we’re fighting with Trump and his MAGA cronies.

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Amen to that last paragraph.

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N.B.:🔥“… THERE HAS TO BE MESSAGING FOR EACH GROUP OF VOTERS.” [sorry for the all-caps, but this truth needed to be shouted.] Means need to be identified and enacted *immediately*, to reach out to the minds of each & every voting demographic, using the communication techniques most effective to reach each demographic.

e.g. Professor Vance, in her brilliant post yesterday titled, ”A Warning” brought to our attention how *powerfully* the social media saturate the information environment in which (especially younger) voters immerse themselves. These media effectively pipeline highly selected kernels of News & infotainment straight into the minds of young voters, using “algorithms” to entrain their interest. This constitutes an *immensely* powerful learning, and moreover entraining, environment. And it constitutes a historically powerful tool for the slanting of beliefs.

Such powerful and effective targeting no doubt underlies the consequences reported today (a gift link):

https://wapo.st/3H3eXfM

HEADLINE: “A quarter of Americans believe FBI instigated Jan. 6, Post-UMD poll finds.
More than 3 in 10 Republicans have adopted the falsehood that the FBI conspired to cause the Capitol riot.”

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deletedJan 4
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One of the things that drew me to Obama in 2008 was his asking us to be responsible even after the voting was done. I attended the caucus in my town and gave that as my reason for voting for him.

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Wish I could sit in on your class.

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Ditto!!

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Your students are so very lucky to have you as their instructor. I’m sure you will teach them well

The word you used hubris describes Trump to a tee. He is so prideful, egocentric and full of himself.

Everything he has said about what he will do will hurt and divide our country.

Let’s get out the vote and defeat him.

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Now, there is the the spirit, “Let’s get out the vote and defeat him.” That is the Obama concept, we must all take responsibility for our democracy. At this point the SCOTUS is a fantasy or instrument of George Orwell’s 1984 world with Winston cleaning up the documents.

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Totally agree with you John

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Bush’s basic elements are in direct contradiction to the GOP’s goals for power and the use of Federalist Society’s plans and $$$$$ to achieve their goals. Yes, we must fight for our democracy!

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Originalist thinking would mean that only organized militia (as in National Guard) would be in possession of arms not individuals protecting it’s citizens against a central army. Waiting for our first Fireside Chat.

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As you know Bill, Biden speaks at Valley Forge on J6.

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Thank you Bryan. I didn’t know, but glad you posted. I will go to my daughter’s house to watch.

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I didn’t know. But I do now.

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deletedJan 4
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Next stop a South Carolina Church.Yes, that one.

School shooting south of Des Moines IOWA on 1st day after Holiday Break, 3 injured at least one critical. 🙏🏻

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deletedJan 4
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Love that!

“Bring it, Biden!”

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Which is, of course, the justification SCOTUS used in their decision that struck down New York’s gun carry laws (/sarcasm). States rights apparently don’t matter to the current “conservative” Justices, who seem to have the consistency of jello (or slime) when it comes to originalist interpretation of our Constitution.

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Have a great semester, Professor Vance!

I’m trying now to imagine the excitement I’d feel to have the experience, the privilege to sit as a student in your classroom.

Truly, I *am* excited and privileged to sit right here where I am, as your student, effortlessly availing myself of your lucid explanations of deliberations of our day.

Thank you.

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Head, hear! And excited that she is guiding this new generation of law students as they learn about what Trump proposes for our most sacred institution: that of our court system.

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Get some rest. Yes, we are a far cry from the last President Bush, and though he did enjoy riding his bike while his VP took the reins, we were in a slightly better place until his group took us into a made up 20 yr war. That said, democracy is definitely at stake in 2024, and my sincere hope is that a majority of SCOTUS agrees that ENOUGH trump is too much to allow him to destroy our nation and turns his pleas away, and saves a bit of their reputation in so doing the right thing. I yield back...

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Darn, there is that word “hope” again.

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Good evening Joyce. Lawrence O’Donnell had a riveting show Tuesday night with experts on the 14th Amendment and Section 3 about debate argued over in 1866 that went on for several months. While I do not understand all of it, I do know that it is an issue that needs to be put right as they were trying to create a law that would prevent an insurrectionist from ever holding office again after having committed treason against our country. I want to research those arguments of that time period. Thank you for continuing to enlighten us with poise and confidence as we look at the laws of our time that were created so long ago and how we can grasp their urgency in today’s America. This particular issue is foundational going forward. Blessings and prayers for all your efforts on our behalf 🗽🇺🇸🕯️🥁🫶🎉🗳️

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Amen! I've been too lazy lately, so I need to get to the law library and see what I can learn and find out. Legal Research and Criminal Law were my favorite subjects when I went to college decades ago. That was before we had the luxury of the Internet (or computers, for that matter). I'm looking forward to this "challenge."

There used to be a commercial on our local TV station. I can't remember what it was for, but I do recall the "catch phrase" they used, like I'd seen it this morning. To quote, "An informed consumer is our BEST customer" might be re-worded these days to a more sophisticated version like "An informed voter is our BEST chance for democracy."

It'll be interesting to see what some of you might come up with!

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Agreed! Not sure our forefathers were really focusing on an informed voter but I do recall Alexander Hamilton worrying about that feeling that democracy could go astray if voters were not informed. I believe American History is a must at all levels of learning.

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Well said, Joyce. I’m grateful we are in this together.

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Oh my, whatever happened to the Republican mantra of "state's rights?" Gone, I see. How convenient. Since I am old enough to have had a civics class, I DO remember that STATES control elections, not the federal government. The State of Colorado has decided, rightly, that FORMER President Trump (why can't they get THAT right in their gaslighting petitions?) is ineligible to run for president since he engaged in insurrection, specifically, on January 6th, 2021. The gaslighting continues in the petition by helpfully explaining that January 6th WASN'T an insurrection, and therefore Trump couldn't have engaged in insurrection. And if you don't believe that, then they try to sell the idea that a presidential candidate's eligibility under the 14th Amendment should be determined by Congress. They also throw in, just in case, that actually, since it doesn't say so, the president is not an "officer" of the United States.

I just have to wonder if these attorneys had to stay up late to cobble this crap together. It's insulting to an average human's intelligence, which is why it will probably work with this SCOTUS.

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